This is space opera. Not much science to be found in this piece. This is fantasy by many stretches–and space fantasy isn’t a genre I have much appreciation for. It’s often bogged down by over explanation and generalizations at the same time. It sounds contradictory. it is.
Kom’s Story isn’t about a human. It’s about an alien (in our eyes) and how he discovers an escape pod near a sacred star. Inside the pod is a human. Then the piece is mainly an explanation of how Kom’s species works and lives. It’s pretty imaginative, but the main issue with the story–and with the genre in general (in my opinion)–is the human emotions and reasoning aliens have. I kept on asking myself, why does this alien have any emotions I’d understand? The answer is an obvious one. If it did not there wouldn’t be a story readers could connect with.
The most impressive thing about this story is that James (Jim) Gunn is now 94 years old and STILL actively writing and publishing. Sure, he’s a Grand Master SF writer, but his mental capacity is obviously still there–I hope I’m up to that standard once I roll into my 94th year–if I even make it that far.